Recently I had to refit the stem on my full carbon fork as I tried different stem heights. When adjusting the headset I initially tightened the top cap way too much because the fork was still pretty well compressed inside the steerer tube so I couldn't feel any real drag to remove the play. So I tightened the top cap with the long end of a hex key basically until there wasn't anymore screw movement. I mean I didn't crank it up like crazy but definitely tightened it until it was snug and not just finger tight like it has to be. I quickly noticed the binding bearings and drag in steering so I immediately backed off the screw and started from scratch. Pulling on the fork a little helped to release the compression, create some play which I then was able to remove systematically.
How likely is it that the bearings or integrated crown race could have suffered any damage? The steering motion is still perfectly smooth (I regreased the bearings a little as the fork was already pulled a little) and I couldn't see any damage in the fork except some indentations I'm pretty sure were there from the beginning and caused by the bearing sitting on top of the crown race.
I guess actually riding the bike with the headset too tight could easily create damage. But how is the stress created from this first adjustment attempt compared to the forces when actually riding the biking with a correctly adjusted headset? I think the riders weight is carried by the lower bearing and also a lot of stress caused by bumps, potholes and the like?